It is what it is
- May 18, 2008
- Reaction score
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Eli Manning is not going to have go-to Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith for rest of the season, and maybe longer.
Smith injured the articular cartilage in his left knee in the win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday and will need season-ending knee surgery.
An orthopedic surgeon told The Associated Press the surgery requires a very long rehabilitation process, but it is possible Smith might be ready for training camp.
Smith, who set a team record with 107 catches last season, was hurt on the opening play of the fourth quarter when he was tackled from behind on a 12-yard reception, his 48th of the season. The game was his first since partially tearing a pectoral muscle in practice on Nov. 11.
“I feel bad for Steve,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He fights his way back, he gets back on the field, he gets a little bit acclimated to game conditions again, and then is injured.”
Smith is the fifth Giants’ receiver to be knocked out since minicamp, and the third since the season started, joining Ramses Barden and Victor Cruz.
The bottom line is the Giants (9-4) will now face the Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) on Sunday in the showdown for first place in the NFC East with Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham being Manning’s prime targets, and Derek Hagan, Michael Clayton and Devin Thomas filling in when the team uses three- or four-receiver packages.